WELLINGTON, July 19
After ripping the heart out of New Zealand’s bleary-eyed cricket fans with a Man-of-the-Match performance in the World Cup final, England all-rounder Ben Stokes has now been nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award. The 28-year-old Stokes was born in New Zealand but grew up in England when his father Gerard moved there to take a rugby league coaching job. Stokes remained in England when his parents returned home and carved out a successful cricketing career.
Williamson in list
His exploits in the World Cup final earned some early nominations for the awards, as did New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, local media reported. “The way he (Williamson) conducted himself, not only in the face of such devastating disappointment at Lord’s but throughout the tournament, resonated powerfully with Kiwis from all walks of life,” the award’s chief judge Cameron Bennett said.
Nominations for the award opened on July 1 and close on Sept. 15. A shortlist is confirmed in December with the winner named next February. The award is typically given to prominent members of the community. The last sportsman to win it was former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in 2016. — Reuters